Article

Urban Debate and High School Educational Outcomes for African American Males: The Case of the Chicago Debate League

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Abstract

This study examines whether participating in competitive policy debate influences high school completion, academic achievement, and college readiness for African American male students. The analysis examines data from the Chicago Debate League from 1997 to 2006. Debate participants were 70% more likely to graduate and three times less likely to drop out as those who did not participate, even after accounting for 8th grade test scores and grade point average. Debate participants were more likely to score at or above the ACT benchmarks for college readiness in English and reading, but not in science or mathematics, than those who did not participate. Recurrent participation in policy debate positively influences scholastic achievement among African American male students in this urban setting. (Contains 1 table and 3 figures.)

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... The main hypotheses are: (1) the association between debate participation and academic achievement will be greatest for at-risk students, and (2) among students who participate in debate, the amount of participation and degree of competitive success will be positively associated with academic achievement. Unlike previous studies of this cohort which sought to assess the average influence of debate on achievement overall (Mezuk, 2009;Mezuk et al., 2011), this study aims to explicitly examine whether the association between debate participation and achievement varies for high-risk and low-risk students. ...
... The CCSR maintains enrollment, demographic, attendance, and academic data on CPS high school students from 1991 to the present. Data collection for this study has been previously described (Mezuk, 2009;Mezuk et al., 2011). Briefly, the study data were derived from CPS academic records; private and charter schools are not included. ...
... Census block poverty was calculated from the percent of adult males employed and the percent of families with incomes above the poverty line. Poverty scores were standardized relative to the Chicago mean with 0 as the mean value for census block groups in Chicago (Mezuk, 2009). Higher scores indicate greater poverty, and because many students lived in high-poverty areas, more than half of students from the sample have scores above the Chicago mean (mean sample poverty score: 0.13). ...
Article
This study investigates the relationship between participating in a high school debate program on college-readiness in the Chicago Public School district over a 10-year period. At-risk school students were identified using an index including 8th grade achievement, poverty status, and enrollment in special education. Regression analyses were used to assess the association between debate participation and graduation and ACT performance. Overall, debaters were 3.1 times more likely to graduate from high school (95% confidence interval: 2.7-3.5) than non-debaters, and more likely to reach the college-readiness benchmarks on the English, Reading, and Science portions of the ACT. This association was similar for both low-risk and at-risk students. Debate intensity was positively related to higher scores on all sections of the ACT. Findings indicate that debate participation is associated with improved academic performance for at-risk adolescents.
... Publication dates range from 1964 to 2011. Fewer than a third (i.e., 29%) of these studies (k = 6) used experimental designs (Catterall, 1987;Longstreth, Shanley, & Rice, 1964;Mac Iver, 2011;Sinclair, Christenson, & Evelo, 1998;Sinclair, Christenson, & Thurlow, 2005;Weis & Toolis, 2009) and 71% of studies (k = 15) used quasi-experimental research designs (Catterall & Stern, 1986;Franklin, Streeter, Kim, & Tripodi, 2007;Furstenberg & Neumark, 2007;Kahne, Sporte, de la Torre, & Easton, 2008;Lever et al., 2004;Levy, Perhats, Nash-Johnson, & Welter, 1992;McSparrin, 1993;Meyer, 1984;Mezuk, 2009;Nowicki, Duke, Sisney, Stricker, & Tyler, 2004;Porowski & Passa, 2011;Ramirez, Perez, Valdez, & Hall, 2009;Solomon & Liefeld, 1998;Somers & Piliawsky, 2004;Stern, Dayton, Paik, & Weisberg, 1989;Weis & Toolis, 2009). Interventions that were tested experimentally include a 4-day workshop for students in Grades 10 to 12 with a 10-week follow-up in a common advisory period (Catterall, 1987), access to vocational curriculum and after school jobs for pay and credit (Longstreth et al., 1964), monthly meetings with facilitators who helped address student problems (Mac Iver, 2011), the check and connect program (Sinclair et al., 1998;Sinclair et al., 2005) and the National Guard Challenge Program (Weis & Toolis, 2009). ...
... In addition, one study used visual analysis (Porowski & Passa, 2011), and four studies reported effect sizes (Furstenberg & Neumark, 2007;Kahne et al., 2008, Porowski & Passa, 2011, Sinclair et al., 2005. Results are reported specifically by participant race in three studies (Levy et al., 1992;Mezuk, 2009;Sinclair et al., 2005), by gender in five studies (Catterall, 1987;Furstenberg & Neumark, 2007;Mac Iver, 2011;Sinclair et al., 2005;Weis & Toolis, 2009), and by special education status in two studies (Sinclair et al., 1998;Sinclair et al., 2005). ...
... In addition to dropout rate or school completion measures, one study (Catterall, 1987) reported behavioral, academic and attendance outcomes; four studies (Franklin et al., 2007;Kahne et al., 2008;McSparrin, 1993;Sinclair et al., 1998) reported academic and attendance outcomes. Five studies reported behavioral outcomes (Lever et al., 2004;Longstreth et al., 1964;Nowicki et al., 2004;Somers & Piliawsky, 2004;Weis & Toolis, 2009), five reported other academic outcomes (Meyer, 1984;Mezuk, 2009;Porowski & Passa, 2011;Ramirez et al., 2009;Somers & Piliawsky, 2004), and four reported attendance outcomes (Furstenberg & Neumark, 2007;Mac Iver, 2011;Sinclair et al., 1998;Stern et al., 1989). ...
Article
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The purpose of this literature review is to systematically examine policy and practice intervention research and assess the impact of those interventions on high school dropout and school completion rates. This systematic review extends the literature by (a) describing both policy and practice interventions, (b) synthesizing findings from experimental or quasi-experimental research, and (c) examining the common elements of effective interventions. Specifically, this review addresses two main questions. First, what are the characteristics of the empirical literature examining high school dropout or school completion interventions? Second, what are the common elements of effective policy or practice interventions for reducing high school dropout rates or increasing school completion rates? Findings indicate that despite research highlighting the need to address multiple risk factors and the need for early intervention, the bulk of current empirical research is focused on single-component, individual, or small group interventions delivered at the high school level. Further research is needed to provide guidance to schools regarding the integration of dropout efforts with other school initiatives. Multitiered frameworks of support are suggested as a structure for accomplishing this effectively and efficiently.
... Second, I propose cognitive and emotional engagement as mechanisms that help drive debaters' academic gains relative to comparable peers. Prior studies have demonstrated that debate team participation is associated with positive outcomes for middle and high school students (Mezuk 2009;Mezuk et al. 2011;Shackelford 2019). However, explanations for these results have been under-theorized. ...
... High school debate teams have been the topic of some scholarly analysis (i.e., Fine 2001;Gorski 2020;Mezuk 2009;Mezuk et al. 2011;Shackelford 2019) and journalistic investigation (Miller 2006) over the past two decades. In general, these accounts agree that debate team participation is associated with positive outcomes for youth, ranging from improved academic performance (Mezuk 2009;Mezuk et al. 2011;Shackelford 2019) to opportunities for positive identity formation (Fine 2001;Miller 2006;Mehta & Fine 2019) and developing new forms of cultural capital (Gorski 2020). ...
... High school debate teams have been the topic of some scholarly analysis (i.e., Fine 2001;Gorski 2020;Mezuk 2009;Mezuk et al. 2011;Shackelford 2019) and journalistic investigation (Miller 2006) over the past two decades. In general, these accounts agree that debate team participation is associated with positive outcomes for youth, ranging from improved academic performance (Mezuk 2009;Mezuk et al. 2011;Shackelford 2019) to opportunities for positive identity formation (Fine 2001;Miller 2006;Mehta & Fine 2019) and developing new forms of cultural capital (Gorski 2020). On debate teams, students research topics assigned by national or local organizations; prepare speeches both supporting and challenging the assigned topic; and participate in competitions during which they compete against teams from other schools using a combination of their prepared speeches and extemporaneous commentary to respond to their opponents' positions. ...
Article
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School engagement predicts academic achievement and attainment, yet remains under‐theorized in the sociological literature. While psychologists describe three distinct yet mutually reinforcing categories of school engagement (behavioral, emotional, and cognitive engagement), sociologists have largely neglected to analyze cognitive engagement. Drawing on ethnographic observations and interviews with members of two debate teams in Chicago Public Schools, I demonstrate that behavioral engagement in the form of debate team participation helped foster debaters' cognitive and emotional engagement in school. Through the activity, debaters developed strong relationships with peers and their adult coaches, and strengthened their appreciation for challenging aspects of the learning process. Although many debaters felt that the learning environment of the debate context was more stimulating than the learning environments of their classes, they nevertheless applied the skills and attitudes they acquired in the activity to the “core” curriculum of the school. These factors help explain why debaters have been shown to outperform comparable peers in terms of academic achievement and attainment. These findings suggest that cognitive engagement is one mechanism driving the positive impact of certain extracurricular activities on students' school performance.
... Publication dates range from 1964-2011. Fewer than a third (i.e., 29%) of these studies (N=6) used experimental designs (Catterall, 1987;Longstreth, Shanley, & Rice, 1964;Mac Iver, 2011;Sinclair, Christenson, & Thurlow, 2005;Sinclair, Christenson, & Evelo, 1998;Weis & Toolis, 2009) and 71% of studies (N=15) used quasi-experimental research designs (Catterall & Stern, 1986;Franklin, Streeter, Kim, & Tripodi, 2007;Furstenberg & Neumark, 2007;Kahne, Sporte, de la Torre, & Easton, 2008;Lever et al., 2004;Levy, Perhats, Nash-Johnson, & Welter, 1992;McSparrin, 1993;Meyer, 1984;Mezuk, 2009;Nowicki, Duke, Sisney, Stricker, & Tyler, 2004;Porowski & Passa, 2011;Ramirez, Perez, Valdez, & Hall, 2009;Solomon & Liefeld, 1998;Somers & Piliawsky, 2004;Stern, Dayton, Paik, & Weisberg, 1989;Weis & Toolis, 2009). ...
... In addition, one study used visual analysis (Porowski & Passa, 2011), and four studies reported effect sizes (Furstenberg & Neumark, 2007;Kahne et al., 2008, Porowski & Passa, 2011, Sinclair et al., 2005. Results are reported specifically by participant race in three studies (Levy et al., 1992;Mezuk, 2009;Sinclair et al., 2005), by gender in five studies (Catterall, 1987;Furstenberg & Neumark, 2007;Mac Iver, 2011;Sinclair et al., 2005, Weis & Toolis, 2009, and by special education status in two studies (Sinclair et al., 2005;Sinclair et al., 1998). ...
... In addition to dropout rate or school completion measures, one study (Catterall, 1987) reported behavioral, academic and attendance outcomes; four studies (Franklin et al., 2007;Kahne et al., 2008;McSparrin, 1993;Sinclair et al., 1998) reported academic and attendance outcomes. Five studies reported behavioral outcomes (Lever et al., 2004;Longstreth et al., 1964;Nowicki, et al., 2004;Somers & Piliawsky, 2004;Weis & Toolis, 2009), four reported other academic outcomes (Meyer, 1984;Mezuk, 2009;Ramirez et al., 2009;Somers & Piliawsky, 2004), and four reported attendance outcomes (Furstenberg & Neumark, 2007;Mac Iver, 2011;Sinclair et al., 1998;Stern et al., 1989). ...
Article
The purpose of this study was to explore the direct and indirect effects of SWPBIS on high school dropout. This study uses structural equation modeling to describe the web of relationships among important high school level outcomes and SWPBIS in a sample of 883 high schools from 37 states. Results suggest that SWPBIS has statistically significant positive effects on behavior and attendance at the high school level and that attendance and behavior are statistically significant indicators of high school dropout risk. The study did not find significant or consistent direct effects of SWPBIS on dropout rates, and there is an indication that schools implementing SWPBIS may have higher initial dropout rates as well as increased initial risk across outcome areas. This study also highlights the need to address the effects of poverty and race on student outcomes and to consider the integration of student support efforts with an understanding of the relationships between different outcome areas.
... Through UDLs, universities are able to provide students with extra support, including mentoring opportunities. The skills needed to succeed in UDL competitions are aligned with the reading skills that students need at the secondary level: comprehension of complex texts, the ability to gather evidence from research, the ability to compare authors' claims, and the ability to distill key arguments from text (ACT, 2006;Mezuk, 2009). Thus, participation in UDLs may help Black students strengthen their reading skills and show stronger ELA achievement. ...
... A study compared the ACT verbal scores (ELA achievement), graduation rates, and dropout rates of 458 Black male UDL participants in grades 9-12 with those of 2,156 matched students (Mezuk, 2009). Statistical models controlled for students' grade point averages and scores on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test in grade 8. ...
... The findings indicated that participation in a UDL was positively associated with the likelihood of scoring above the English and reading ACT benchmark scores and graduating from high school. Participation also was negatively associated with the likelihood of students dropping out of high school (Mezuk, 2009). This QED was classified as providing promising evidence because the two groups did not have equivalent achievement scores at baseline, but the baseline scores were statistically controlled. ...
Technical Report
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REL Midwest conducted a systematic review of research on interventions that may improve academic outcomes for Black students. The review entailed a search for studies that provide evidence at Tier I (strong evidence), Tier II (moderate evidence), or Tier III (promising evidence) according to the Every Student Succeeds Act, and explicitly mention associations between an intervention and Black students' achievement in math or reading, dropout rates, or graduation rates. After screening 3,917 studies, REL Midwest identified 24 studies that provided Tier III evidence (promising evidence) supportive of 22 interventions. No studies were identified that provided Tier I or Tier II evidence. The 22 interventions include consulting with district assistance and intervention teams, hiring certified teachers, adopting the Elementary School Success Profile Model of Assessment and Prevention, adopting the Good Behavior Game with enhanced academic curriculum, connecting male Black youth with school and community mentors, encouraging parents to become involved with their child's education at home, encouraging parental involvement at school, adopting the Positive Action program, adopting the Student Success Skills program, developing student-teacher relationships, using formative assessments, including specific topics in math instruction for students in kindergarten and grade 4, communicating high expectations to students, assigning homework, using instructional reform practices in math, increasing instructional time in math, encouraging students to participate in out-of-school programs, implementing a summer reading program with free books, encouraging participation in urban debate leagues, and introducing Black students to self-affirmation techniques. The 22 interventions and the studies that provide supportive evidence are presented. Three appendices present (1) literature review methodology, (2) a table that lists the interventions supported by promising evidence, and (3) a table that lists interventions found to have no statistically significant associations with achievement outcomes for Black students or that are associated with unfavorable outcomes for Black students.
... However, despite widespread testimonial and anecdotal evidence of the impact of academic debate on critical thinking skills, personal development, and scholastic success (Lee, 1998;Warner and Bruschke, 2001;Collier, 2004), few studies have systematically evaluated this relationship, let alone in urban settings. Initial investi-gations of the influence of urban debate indicate that Black male students who participated in debate were more likely to graduate and had significantly higher scores on the English and Reading, but not Mathematics or Science, sections of the ACT (Mezuk, 2009). However, the authors also found that students who elected to debate in high school differed systema-tically from their non-debater counterparts in important ways, including better performance on 8th grade standardized assessments of reading and mathematics (although still below state standards for adequate performance, on average). ...
... Details of the sample have been described previously (Mezuk 2009). Briefly, data come from Chicago Public Schools (CPS), in part-nership with the Consortium on Chicago School Research (CCSR) at the University of Chicago. ...
Article
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Policy makers have advanced out-of-school time learning as a means to address far-reaching class and racial/ethnic disparities in high school achievement and college readiness, particularly in urban districts. However, limited data have hindered large-scale efforts to evaluate the influence of such activities on student achievement. Recent federal policy has encouraged the development of data systems that track students over the academic life course, and while these datasets hold great opportunity for research they pose inherent methodological challenges. This study applies a novel statistical approach in a comprehensive administrative dataset to evaluate the relationship between participating in a policy debate program and academic achievement in the Chicago Public School (CPS) district from 1997 to 2006 (N = 9145). Using multiple imputation to account for missing data and selective attrition, and propensity score matching to account for self-selection, we find that debaters were more likely to graduate, more likely to meet ACT college-readiness benchmarks, and had greater gains in cumulative grade point average (GPA) over the course of high school relative to comparable peers. This is the largest evaluation study of a debate program on achievement, and these findings suggest that debate programs may offer a means to extend learning time and promote engagement with scholastic materials in a manner that translates into academic performance.
... Debate and structured argumentation align with NCSS's position of what should be included in a social studies classroom, with the bonus of supporting students to become better, coherent speakers and informed citizens, practising essential life skills vital for any democratic educational environment in the world. Yet, research related to debate mainly pertains to extracurricular experiences (Cridland-Hughes, 2012;Fine, 2001;Littlefield, 2001;Mezuk, 2009;Mirra et al., 2016) or within college settings (Healey, 2012;Kennedy, 2007). No research could be found that focused explicitly on structured debate practices within the school day, let alone cross-grade social studies debates investigating teachers' pedagogical decisions. ...
... Although not related to in-school debates, both research-based and practitioner articles emphasise the benefits of debate, including disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline (Beane, 2016), fostering better school engagement by simultaneously impacting "at-risk" students to stay in school (Mezuk, 2009;Winkler, 2016) and influencing critical thinking and literacy (Bellon, 2000;Zorwick, 2016). Zorwick (2016) posits that debate expands on the development of empathy, as debate requires students to "understand why different entities … could have a different way of thinking about a nuanced issue" (p. ...
Article
Although there is a growing body of research related to disciplinary and critical literacy practices within social studies classrooms, little is known about how teachers cultivate these practices through structured debates within the school day. Focusing on teachers at one high school, the researchers used a qualitative case study to explore how debate promoted critical and disciplinary literacy, simultaneously providing space for student empowerment and agency. Findings demonstrated an increased focus by teachers on student-led learning, highlighting how teachers made incremental changes that prioritised students’ argumentation skills and comfort in sharing their voice throughout the debate process and beyond.
... Rites of passage have been identifi ed as part of the African cultural traditions, alongside other rituals that involve music, dance, storytelling, and metaphors (Graham, 1999;West-Olatunji, Shure, Garrett, & Rivera, 2008). In addition to promoting persistence through graduation from high school, mentoring interventions have been used to address behavioral concerns (Martin, Martin, Gibson, & Wilkins, 2007;Serpell, Hayling, Stevenson, & Kern, 2009), resiliency (Copeland & Beins, 2005), and academic achievement (Clark, Harris, & Allen, 2005;Gordon, Iwamoto, Ward, Potts, & Boyd, 2009;Mezuk, 2009;Uwah, McMahon, & Furlow, 2008). ...
... Brown (2011) calls upon researchers to question their starting point for inquiry. To combat the defi ciency framework, Black males, like any other group must be challenged with a curriculum and expectations that they will succeed (Mezuk, 2009). ...
... Although a thorough detailing of debate activities is beyond the scope of this article, Fine (2001) and Miller (2006) each offer rich descriptions of high school debate practices. Historically the domain of wealthy suburbanites, competitive high school debate has increasingly become available to students in cities since the creation of the first Urban Debate League (UDL) in Atlanta in 1985 (Fine 2001;Mezuk 2009). UDLs spread across the country during the 1990s, reaching Chicago in the form of the Chicago Debate League (CDL) in 1997 (Chicago Debates n.d.). 3 Today, the CDL is the largest UDL in the country, serving roughly 1,400 students from approximately 75 schools in the CPS district (Chicago Debates n.d.). ...
... It is possible that the skills demonstrated by debaters in this study are skills they would have gained even without participating in competitive debate. There is evidence that debaters enter high school with higher eighth-grade test scores than nondebaters (Mezuk 2009), perhaps suggesting that they are an unusually talented group of students. However, in their own understandings, it is debatenot school-that drives their acquisition of these new skills and attitudes. ...
... However, contemporary researchers (e.g., Kunjufu, 2007;Ladson-Billings, 2009;Mezuk, 2009;Losen, 2011) suggest that there is a nexus between African American male students' school experiences and their virtual non-existence in the teaching profession; and it is well documented that K-12 schools have not been a welcoming and nurturing space for African American male students. In fact, schools have been hostile places for many Black males, and this lack of cultural responsiveness to this group has painted bleak and distorted images of the academic and professional trajectories for this population at all grade levels, even before school begins. ...
Article
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As of 2012, data indicate that only one percent of public school teachers are African American males. Numerous reports urge decision makers and higher education professionals to aggressively recruit and retain African American males as teachers in an effort to improve the academic outcomes of African American children in our educational system (Huntspan & Howell, 2012; Lewis & Toldson, 2013). Unfortunately, the voices of male teachers have been under-studied in educational settings, particularly those of African Americans. The purpose of this article is to explore the lived experiences of an African American male kindergarten teacher as to help us understand why African American males rarely choose teaching as a profession. Using a single case study, the researchers and a male African American kindergarten teacher examine these experiences through a racial microaggression taxonomy. Findings revealed that this African American male teacher may be a victim of a cycle of institutional tensions that include microaggressions, as well as an overcomer within the cycle of personal triumphs. Recommendations are provided to improve the experiences of African American male teachers.
... One program attempting to balance competitive success and transferable knowledge is the urban debate league (UDL), a national afterschool debate program. Researchers exploring the UDL movement describe a programmatic emphasis on community and outreach to groups underrepresented in traditional debate (Cridland-Hughes, 2011;Mezuk, 2009). ...
Article
This study examines critical literacy and the intersections of oral, aural, written, and performative literate practices in City Debate, an afterschool program dedicated to providing debate instruction to students in a major Southeastern city. Previous research into definitions and beliefs about literacy in an urban debate program over its twenty year history described literacy activities in debate as active and activist, attributes connected with a belief in literacy as critical (Author, 2008). City Debate participants facilitated the development of critical literacy as students prepared to compete in debate tournaments, but also as youth, volunteers, and organizers worked together to develop a community framed around “critical reading, critical thinking, and critical speaking.” This study offers insight into how one empowering youth literacy community prepares students to use critical literacy in debate and throughout their lives.
... However, contemporary researchers (e.g., Kunjufu, 2007;Ladson-Billings, 2009;Mezuk, 2009;Losen, 2011) suggest that there is a nexus between African American male students' school experiences and their virtual non-existence in the teaching profession; and it is well documented that K-12 schools have not been a welcoming and nurturing space for African American male students. In fact, schools have been hostile places for many Black males, and this lack of cultural responsiveness to this group has painted bleak and distorted images of the academic and professional trajectories for this population at all grade levels, even before school begins. ...
Article
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An introduction is presented in which the editor discusses various reports within the issue on topics including the low representation of male African American in the teaching workplace, the difficulties felt by Black males in the U.S. schools, and the interactions of White female teachers with Black male students.
... While the benefits of debate in general are being studied quantitatively, individual programs should develop assessment measures that are relevant to their programmatic expectations (Anderson & Mezuk, 2012;Colbert, 1995;Gregory & Holloway, 2005;Mezuk, 2009;Mezuk, Bondarenko, Smith, & Tucker, 2011). It is increasingly important to offer evidence that collegiate debate programs provide substantial benefits to the student populations they serve. ...
... The academic research community, led largely by Virginia Commonwealth University community health researcher Briana Mezuk, is following suit in seeking to demonstrate the relationship of extracurricular debate participation to specific academic outcomes. Mezuk (2009) focused on the experiences of African-American male students in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and based on a longitudinal quantitative analysis of UDL participants from 1997 to 2006 demonstrated that debaters had higher GPAs, higher rates of high school completion, and higher ACT scores than a representative sample of their peers. ...
Article
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Middle school is a crucial transition period for adolescents; in addition to beginning to grapple with the academic literacy demands of college and career readiness, they are working to find their place in public life and developing opinions about civic issues. This article presents debate as a literacy practice that is uniquely suited to helping middle school students increase their academic reading comprehension skills while also honing their critical literacy skills and capitalizing on their developing civic identities. Our study extends the established body of literature about the benefits of classroom debate by focusing on the impact of extracurricular, community-based debate among students in a large northeastern public school district. We use a critical literacy framework and mixed methods approach including analysis of standardized test scores of 179 debaters, as well as 34 interviews with students, teachers, and administrators, in order to explore the impacts of voluntary, community debate participation. Our findings demonstrate how debate encourages students to analyze complex texts, take multiple perspectives on controversial issues, and use their voices to advocate for social justice. Our findings speak to the power of community literacy initiatives to support academic development and foster critical literacies.
... However, the enactment of this principle tends to be less visible in schools (Fisher, 2005; Ladson-Billings, 2000; Lubienski, 2002; Martin, 2009 ). Many African American (AA) students are underperforming in core subject areas such as Mathematics, Language Arts, Science and Social Studies (Fisher, 2005; Ladson-Billings, 2000; Mezuka, 2009; Moses-Snipes, 2005). Moreover, the consequences of these inequities are more salient for AA males because of how they are positioned in the larger societal context (Howard, 2008; Steele, 1997). ...
Article
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In this article, the author describes how a curricular unit that provided opportunities for active engagement and participation was used to support the geometric reasoning of sixth grade African American (AA) male students. The curricular unit was designed to support students' understanding of quadrilaterals. Data sources (pre- and post-tests, video recordings of classroom episodes, mathematics interviews) were analyzed through quantitative and qualitative methods. Findings showed that students improved in their understanding of quadrilateral classifications. Specifically, students were able to use their knowledge of geometry to evaluate the relationships between pairs of quadrilaterals. However, levels of understanding were varied. Little research (Berry, 2008; Corey & Bower, 2005; Lattimore, 2005; Stinson, 2006; Thompson & Lewis, 2005) examines the content knowledge of African American males, a necessary step to addressing inequities in education. This study aims to address this deficiency and contribute to our understanding of the teaching and learning of AA adolescent males.
... Therefore, she started to include classroom debates so that learning could "come alive" for her students to engage in topics that relate to social and political issues (Hess & Avery, 2008;Knowles & McCafferty-Wright, 2015). Debates are often used in classrooms and have benefits in addition to demonstration of learning, such as supporting student empowerment (Savitz et al., 2021), fostering better school engagement by simultaneously impacting "at-risk" students to stay in school (Mezuk, 2009;Winkler, 2016), influencing critical thinking and literacy skills (McCann et al., 2015;Zorwick & Wade, 2016), and serving as a meaningful dialogue platform (Wade, 2016). She taught her students how to gather and use credible evidence to support student-created claims, craft their rebuttals, and ultimately use information from both sides to present at the debate. ...
... The term "opportunity gap" implies that, when given the resources and opportunities they deserve, Black males can achieve just as their White counterparts do. Several lines of evidence suggest that when provided educational opportunities and resources (e.g., challenging curriculum, certified and culturally sensitive teachers, quality instruction, preschool education, tutoring, mentoring, test-preparation services, academic enrichment), Black male students have higher standardized test scores (i.e., ACT and SAT), grade point averages, college entrance examination scores, attendance and achievement scores (i.e., reading, math, writing), and graduation rates, and lower discipline referrals and high school dropout rates than their Black male peers without such supports and resources (e.g., Bailey & Bradbury-Bailey, 2010;Easton-Brooks & Davis, 2009;Graves, 2011;Kim, 2006;Mezuk, 2009;Nagle, 2013;Woolley et al., 2010). In other words, when provided rich opportunities to learn, Black males thrive, and the achievement gaps close. ...
Article
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Throughout the past decade, scholars have argued that the persistent achievement gap between Black male students and their White peers is a result of unequal and inadequate educational opportunities instead of inherent differences in their capability or character. School counselors can help support Black males by using equity-focused school–family–community partnerships that provide a strong network of support, resources, and increased educational opportunities—all of which contribute to positive academic outcomes and help eliminate barriers caused by systemic racism. In this article, we apply a step-by-step partnership process model to a case in which a school counselor used partnerships to advocate for Black students facing racism and educational inequities in a school district.
... Moreover, most studies reported evaluations for interventions implemented at the high school level (e.g., Booker, Sass, Gill, & Zimmer, 2010;Campbell, Breitmayer, & Ramey, 1986;Filindra, Blanding, & Coll, 2011;Kahne, Sporte, de la Torre, & Easton, 2008;Mac Iver, 2011;Mezuk, 2009;Weis & Toolis, 2009), while interventions implemented in middle school were less common (Furstenberg & Neumark, 2007; Lever et al., 2004; Levy, Perhats, Nash-Johnson, & Welter, 1992;Sinclair, Christenson, & Evelo, 1998). ...
Article
Purpose The article describes an evaluation study to test the effectiveness of “Storie in gioco” project (Stories in Play, Storie in gioco [SIG]), a dropout prevention intervention aimed to prevent early school leaving (ESL) in at risk students. Method The research used a mixed-method approach: in the quantitative phase, a two-group pre-/post evaluation design involving 230 students was used to estimate SIG outcomes; in the qualitative step, stakeholders’ focus group discussions and interviews have been used to interpret results. Results Even if SIG appears to impact scholastic self-esteem and peer relationships, no effect was found when a comparison group matched for baseline measures was used. Based on qualitative data, the article identifies mechanisms influencing SIG outcomes and provides key insights into improving it. Conclusions The authors emphasize the priority to develop programs to reduce intergenerational transmission of educational poverty and express methodological and theoretical considerations regarding SIG effectiveness and ESL prevention interventions.
... Scholars like Mezuk (2010) have argued that forensic participation has a positive effect on students' civic empowerment. In other words, it can provide a good platform for students to become good citizens [14]. ...
... Moreover, debate activities will assist students to explore various connections between the social, political, and environmental dimensions of society (Bellon, 2000). An investigation done by Mezuk (2009) revealed that students who involved in debate ISSN 1675-1302 © 2018 Faculty of Administrative Science and Policy Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Malaysia activities were more likely to graduate and had significantly higher scores in English and reading subjects, but not Mathematics or Science. It shows that, debate is effective for students' enhancement as it helps to improve their academic performance by fostering students' thinking and reading ability. ...
Article
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Classroom debate has been widely used as a learning method especially at the secondary and tertiary level. Classroom debate enhances self-confidence, critical thinking, analytical capabilities, communication skills, and teamwork. Although studies involving the impact of classroom debate has vastly been done in the context of learning the second language, psychology, philosophy, and pure science; specific studies that focus on administrative science field are still scarce. Administrative science subjects are multidisciplinary, critical and analytical, and mostly it covers aspects of administrative concepts, management principles and practices, administrative and management theories, public sector management, and international relations. Classroom debate are beneficial and relevant to be applied in administrative science subjects as a properly orchestrated debate can allow students to exert fresh ideas and develop reasoning skills that can improve their academic performance. Therefore, this paper aims to establish a conceptual review on the impact of classroom debate on students’ academic performance within the context of higher education, particularly in the administrative science field. A conceptual framework is subsequently proposed linking the benefits of classroom debate with students’ academic performance.
... Moreover, debate activities will assist students to explore various connections between the social, political, and environmental dimensions of society (Bellon, 2000). An investigation done by Mezuk (2009) revealed that students who involved in debate ISSN 1675-1302 © 2018 Faculty of Administrative Science and Policy Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Malaysia activities were more likely to graduate and had significantly higher scores in English and reading subjects, but not Mathematics or Science. It shows that, debate is effective for students' enhancement as it helps to improve their academic performance by fostering students' thinking and reading ability. ...
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Classroom debate has been widely used as a learning method especially at the secondary and tertiary level. Classroom debate enhances self-confidence, critical thinking, analytical capabilities, communication skills, and teamwork. Although studies involving the impact of classroom debate has vastly been done in the context of learning the second language, psychology, philosophy, and pure science; specific studies that focus on administrative science field are still scarce. Administrative science subjects are multidisciplinary, critical and analytical, and mostly it covers aspects of administrative concepts, management principles and practices, administrative and management theories, public sector management, and international relations. Classroom debate are beneficial and relevant to be applied in administrative science subjects as a properly orchestrated debate can allow students to exert fresh ideas and develop reasoning skills that can improve their academic performance. Therefore, this paper aims to establish a conceptual review on the impact of classroom debate on students' academic performance within the context of higher education, particularly in the administrative science field. A conceptual framework is subsequently proposed linking the benefits of classroom debate with students' academic performance.
... The present study, which is one of the largest quantitative evaluations of debate participation and achievement among high school students conducted to date, extends this work by providing robust evidence of the benefits of debate on academic performance and college readiness. These findings are consistent with those of prior studies in Chicago (Mezuk, 2009;Mezuk et al., 2011), which found that debate participants were more likely to reach college-readiness benchmarks on the ACT college entrance exam; this study, which is the first to examine the relationship between debate participation and performance on the SAT college entrance exam, similarly found stronger effects on the Reading/Writing versus Math sections of the test. Findings are also consistent with research among middle school students in Baltimore (Shackelford, 2019), which found positive impacts of debate on school engagement and standardized test scores entering into high school. ...
... Research has found that students with higher academic standing in 9 th grade were also more likely to graduate (Gewertz, 2007;Zablocki & Krezmien, 2013). Participating in extracurricular activities has often been found to increase the odds of graduation (Mezuk, 2009;Pema & Mehay, 2010;Rumberger, 1995). Moreover, parents who participated in voluntary school groups or those with higher levels of parental monitoring of students' activities were more likely to have children who graduated from high school (Blondal & Adalbjarnadottir, 2009;Rumberger). ...
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Students with Emotional Disturbance (ED) graduate from high school with a standard diploma at rates far below their peers. The present study utilised archival data of former high school students with ED and a nondisabled comparison group to examine graduation-related predictor variables. The results indicated that grade point average and extracurricular activity participation positively predicted high school graduation while the number of years spent in 9th grade negatively predicted graduation for both groups of interest. For students with ED, the percentage of student attendance at special education meetings throughout high school was also statistically significant for predicting graduation. Educational implications related to adolescents with ED are discussed.
... Likewise the results of research in several other American schools, especially those that have been studied in the community of African-American students. The results of the study showed that one-half of high school students can complete their study time faster than the time specified in the curriculum (Mezuk, 2009). Through the debate model Louden, (2010) the learning activities of students show a fairly high level of involvement, as evidenced by the activity of asking, answering or responding to every question raised by students. ...
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To improve the quality of the learning process, teachers are expected to be able to develop appropriate learning methods and models according to the learning topics listed in the school curriculum. This study aims to determine the effect of the debate model on learning motivation in students' history subjects at Darul Aman Senior High School Makassar City. The research method used is an experiment with a quantitative descriptive approach. The research instruments were in the form of observations, questionnaires and tests. The results showed that the level of students' learning motivation increased after using the debate model. The debate learning model has a significant effect on students' learning motivation. The conclusion of this study concludes that the debate model can increase students' learning motivation in historical subjects. Keywords: Debate model; Motivation to learn; Learners
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This chapter investigates how teachers might turn the apparent contradiction between the rise of standards-based measures of accountability and the desire for humanizing, empowering education into a generative debate. In the face of the enduring power of the standards movement, debate enables teachers and students to function as intellectuals and meet required benchmarks on their own terms. Youth develop high-level academic skills through participation in an activity where accountability comes mainly from peers rather than adults, much less from an official document. The chapter explores how such conflicts over the goals and content of education might result in a new harmony between academic accountability and intellectual self-determination.
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